Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense


A bit of a current…

I went kayaking on Lake Clarke today (on the Susquehanna River just above the Safe Harbor dam). The dam must have been releasing a lot of water because there was more current on that section of river than I’ve ever seen (as the buoy picture shows!). I was surprised at the speed but it didn’t really affect my paddling very much.

It did make going downriver a bit easier, though.


This picture is not representative…

I went paddling today on the Susquehanna River in the Lake Clarke area (above Safe Harbor Dam) in my new Boreal Design Epsilon P300. I knew it would be a bit windy, so I deliberately went to the river instead of a calmer and more sheltered area so I could play in some waves and get some practice handling the Epsilon in rougher conditions than a stiff breeze and sheltered lake could provide.

The calm before the stormWhen I launched around 11:00 am, there were some choppy waves, but nothing particularly dramatic. The wind was blowing down-river and that’s the direction I headed. The chop was minor but was picking up a bit, as I expected. I turned up Fishing Creek for a bit of introductory calm. That’s where I snapped the picture accompanying this post which, as the title indicates, is not representative of the rest of my time on the water.

Once I left the shelter of Fishing Creek and continued down-river, things got a bit more lively and the waves, coming from behind me at an angle, were big enough to break over my foredeck. I don’t want to say it was a struggle to maintain my course, but I had to work at it. I deliberately didn’t put my rudder down… for the practice.

By the time I hit a small outcropping of land and scooted in behind it to a mirror-calm sort of mini-bay, some of the waves were close to two-feet high, partly because the wind had picked up and partly because the further down-river I went, the longer the fetch was, so the waves had  considerably more time to build.

I had some lunch in the calm area and then headed back out to paddle back up-river to my launch point. This time, I had waves breaking toward me and a sometimes-wicked headwind to content with. The waves were more fun than anything as they didn’t have much of an effect on my keeping my heading. The headwind was a bit of a hindrance, but as I’ve told my daughter, when you’re paddling into a headwind, you don’t have to paddle hard, you just have to keep paddling… because as soon as you stop paddling, the wind’s going to start pushing you backward and you’ll have to spend twice as much energy to start moving forward again.

So I spent roughly one and a half hours on some appropriately challenging water (for my current skill level) and got a great workout and some practice handling my 17.5-foot boat in conditions other than what’s shown in the picture.

Tomorrow, I’m going to take it easy.

Photo Kayaking on Lake Redman

I went out on Lake Redman today with my good camera to try out some new kayaking dry-gear. Many photographs were taken (the new dry-gear worked almost perfectly). The gulls were out in force and I took quite a few shots, mostly of gulls on the water. I did, however, spend some time taking aerial shots of them.

It’s not an easy task (on a windy day) to sit in a kayak, point a camera (with a viewfinder) at the sky, keep your balance, and hold on to your paddle. I lucked out with this shot of a gull in flight.

Click for larger version

A few other favorites from the day are below.

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Kayaking on the Conestoga Creek

Megan and I went on a trip down the Conestoga Creek in Lancaster County. Shanks Mare Outfitters organized the trip and provided shuttle service and a great lunch. It was a bit chilly, but we all stayed warm and dry and had a great time paddling through beautiful countryside.

Sample pictures below. Click here for the full album.

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Lake Williams in the Morning

I managed to get out on Lake Williams around 8:00 this morning. I was the only boat on the water. The leaves have begun to turn to their Autumn colors and it was wonderfully peaceful.

 Lake Williams #1 Lake Williams #2

This is why I kayak…

On the lower Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania around Muddy Run Park… one of my favorite places to paddle.

Muddy Run on the Lower Susquehanna River

Muddy Run on the Lower Susquehanna River Muddy Run on the Lower Susquehanna River Muddy Run on the Lower Susquehanna River

View the full gallery.

Fireworks from my kayak

Lori and I went to Watsontown for the 4th of July weekend and went out on the Susquehanna River with some friends to watch the fireworks. I’m pretty sure it was the best time I’ve ever had watching fireworks. The sound carried right up the river. The reflection on the water was beautiful. It was relaxing. There were no crowds.

I got some video but it’s a bit grainy because my video camera isn’t very good in low light, but it gives a little bit of the sense of the evening.

On the Lower Susquehanna

About a week or so ago, I took Megan and her friend Sara to a lower section of the Susquehanna River and we paddled around some fantastic rocks. The girls got out and did some climbing and exploring while I took pictures from the water. Later, we hauled our boats up on some rocks and had a great lunch with a fantastic view.

Taking a break for lunch

(click the image for the full gallery)

First family kayak outing of 2013

I finally got everyone out together for the first paddle of 2013 at Lake Redman. It was a gorgeous day… a bit blustery at first, but it calmed down and was sunny and warm. We rafted up and had lunch on the water, letting ourselves drift wherever the wind took us (it didn’t take us very far). I also had some fun feeding saltines to the gulls.

A few sample pictures…

Lori and MeganFeeding the gullsMegan along the shore

Here’s the link to the full album: Digital Chum Gallery | First 2013 Family Paddle

Stop Motion Video: Heading Out

Megan and I decided to play around a bit with some stop motion video. We decided that kayaking through the house and out the door was silly enough to warrant some effort, so here’s the end result.

She was a trooper, too. It was about 30 degrees out and the wind was whipping in the door and all she had on was her "Go Play Outside" t-shirt from Shanks Mare. Her smile (on-camera) never wavered.